I tell this story every year. Forgive me if you’ve already read it.
Since the first time I celebrated Valentine’s Day at the age of 16, I’ve thought the “holiday” sucked something fierce.
It was February 13th, 2005. I was scouring Shopper Drug Mart’s greeting card section for the perfect love note for my girlfriend. I was careful of how each card used the word “love”, that it accentuated parts of my relationship I actually identified with, and that the look and feel of the card was something I genuinely thought she would enjoy. It took me half an hour and I read about 50 cards but finally I found one I would be proud to give my first Valentine. With the triumph inside me building, I carefully selected the most pristine copy of the card which I was convinced was made for my sweetheart and me. After extracting it and the corresponding envelope with the precision of an open-heart surgeon, I turned to see the long line at the cashier: clearly I wasn’t the only guy who had this idea.
I queued up behind an old man, hunched over and slightly trembling, his body weight supported almost entirely by his cane. He must have been almost 80.
In front of him was a father, bouncing his young daughter in his arms to put her to sleep while his son ran in circles around his legs.
First in line was a young boy and his mom. She was talking to him like an adult, something I’ve always loved seeing from parents, and coaching him through what I gathered was his first solo transaction.
And finally at the front of the line was one of the most gangster-looking individuals I’ve ever seen in my life. You know the kind that wears their pants so low that he’s never been asked ‘boxers or briefs?’. Yeah, that guy.
And all five of us, from the 6 year old buying his first Valentine’s card to the senior citizen who may be older than Hallmark itself had the
I felt sick. No matter how out-of-the-box your thinking may be, there is not one iota of a chance in hell that all five of the ladies (one too young to even be called that) deserved the same sentiment as the rest. It was mass advertising illustrated, and we were all literally buying into it.
I put my card down and went home and made my own. She hated it. We broke up a week later.
Take from this story what you will, but if you choose to celebrate February 14th, do something to actually show your Valentine what they mean to you.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Your sweetheart deserves more,
Especially from you.